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HP Revamps Support System With Remote Access

Hewlett-Packard officially unveiled a revamped customer service and support program that the company believes will cut down on call length and increase consumer satisfaction.

Called HP Instant Care, the program allows HP technicians to have remote direct access to a consumer’s computer so they can fix the glitch instead of having to talk the user through the process, said Brent Potts, HP’s senior director, consumer service and support. The program officially went online on Sept. 28, although it’s been running as a pilot for the past nine months. The system was ported over from a similar program used with HP’s enterprise level computers.

“We’ve experienced very high levels of a first-time fix, between 90 and 100 percent.” Potts said.

The program was needed, he said, because of the growing complexity of the home computing environment.

“Talking through a problem step-by-step is hard for some consumers,” Potts said.

The other major benefit for HP is call time has been reduced from 30-45 minutes to 5-10 minutes, he added. Down the road this could lead to a major cost savings for the company if it allows a reduction in the number of customer service representatives, Potts said.

The company expects to use this new capability with only the more complex support calls, an estimated 30 percent of the total. In most cases, the consumer will call into the support center and if the problem is deemed difficult and the computer is capable of accessing the Web, they will be directed to an HP support Web site and be asked to go into a session with a customer service person, Potts said. The customer can cut off the direct access at any point if he or she feels the support associate is abusing their ability to investigate their computer.

The service is free for any product under an original or extended HP warranty. This not only covers HP computers, but all devices that can be accessed via the Web, such as printers, multifunction devices and in future HP televisions. The computer being used to give HP access to the device does not have to be HP branded.